Yemen Heading for Disaster in 2010? | Recorded Future
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Yemen Heading for Disaster in 2010?

January 12, 2010 • Jason Hines

Al Qaeda’s most recent failed attempt to destroy a Detroit bound aircraft on Christmas Day has led to increased interest in Yemen where it appears the would-be bomber linked with Al Qaeda before the attack. Yemen has increasingly been a hot-spot for violence and a new found haven for terrorism.

Recently the US and UK went so far as to close their embassies in Yemen based on terrorist threats. Many believe that as US and NATO forces increase pressure in Afghanistan forcing the areas along the Af-Pak border less comfortable for Al Qaeda and the Taliban, will they look to Yemen as a new headquarters and breeding ground. Critics claim US “efforts in Yemen are being constrained by a lack of in-house expertise and a fraught history with the country’s leader.”

Clearly, Yemen is an area of increased interest and a potential hotbed for terrorism and crisis; and an area where we could use better insights. We looked into our index at Recorded Future to see what information we could learn about the future of Yemen and the results are interesting – to start with, Yemen is attracting al-Qaida:

Senior al-Qaida figures moving to Yemen Country
WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 (UPI) — Veteran al-Qaida terrorists are leaving Pakistan and Afghanistan and are heading to Yemen, U.S. and foreign government officials say.


When we look at the history of Yemen, we see recurring natural disasters in the region. It’s obvious that Yemen is prone to repeat flooding, fierce storms, and drought.

 

An alternative way to view these results in Recorded Future is using our new timeline view (which is coming shortly). The continuous grey curve represent events where natural disasters occurred throughout the year (or were described in year terms), and the dots show specific incidents or time points when a natural disaster event occurred.

Yemen natural disasters timeline

 

These extreme weather conditions no doubt have impact on their agricultural production as we see from the hits below. These events foretell of famine and food shortages coming in 2010:

 

Abdul-Karim Al-Iryani says “the country could face famine as soon as next year, calling upon the international community to support Yemen.”
Former Prime Minister Abdul-Karim Al-Iryani has warned that the country could face famine as soon as next year, calling upon the international community…

Mansour Al-Houshabi: Decline in grain production, call to reduce wheat consumption (Local) Person
SANAA, July 22 Dr. Mansour Al-Houshabi, the Yemeni minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, recently announced that he expects a decline in grain production starting in 2010.

He called last week for reducing the consumption of wheat.

Humanitarian crisis looms in Yemen – Oxfam Country
Humanitarian crisis looms in Yemen – Oxfam. – …SANAA, (Reuters) – The international aid group Oxfam warned on Tuesday that Yemen could soon face a humanitarian crisis as a result of the escalation of fighting in August between government forces and…

Earlier this year we wrote about early warning sings of conflict. Many have argued that crop shortages and consequently famine are a red flag for unstable nation states. The rise in population combined with decreased grain production is particularly concerning:

Yemen: Integrating culture into development strategy for reproductive health (Local) Country
The population of Yemen now stands at 22.3 million, and is therefore expected to double by 2050.

There’s no shortage of speculation about Yemen’s future based on these opinions:

Yemen: We are on the verge of an Islamic Revival Country
2024… of the Islamic Caliphate and the role of youth Dear brothers and sister, I am speaking to you from Yemen at the moment and there are some similarities between Yemen and Pakistan, so when speaking about one, it is like speaking about the other.

Aid won’t fix the crisis in Yemen(Opinion) Country‘s donors believe stabilizing President Salehs regime will thwart the devolution of Yemen into a failed state and an al Qaeda safe haven. – U.S. aid proposed for 2010 is at the highest levels in years.

This article from the Yemen Post seems to have strangely disappeared:

 

Yemen, Yahya Person Travel
In March 2008, a Saudi terrorist financier admitted that al-Qaedas branch in Saudi Arabia was defeated and called on his remaining associates to flee to Yemen. An influx of insurgents returning from Iraq and an ongoing active recruitment process within Yemen have energized al-Qaedas domestic support base.

It’s important to remember that Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world as well as a haven for Islamic jihadists. The Pentagon is spending over $70 million this year to train and outfit Yemeni military, but that doesn’t directly address the issues we’ve uncovered. Based on the information we’ve gathered we can see that Yemen will likely experience food shortages in and torrential floods in 2010. This combination of natural disasters, propensity for famine and malnutrition, and challenges with Islamic radicals and terrorists make it a top hot-spot for conflict in the future.

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